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Say More With a Lyric Video

December 5, 2014 Featured News, YouTube No Comments

LyricVideoAs YouTube carves out a larger space in the music community, the way music videos are being made and consumed is changing. With millions of artists and creators collaborating constantly, stunning music videos have been made that sometimes challenge typical production conventions. Along with YouTube’s Music Key, there are now multiple forms a music video can take. This combined with a lower barrier to entry has given rise to excellent alternatives you can consider when deciding how to publish your music on an evolving video streaming platform.

Building off of YouTube Art Tracks

With the launch of YouTube Music Key, you’ve probably started to see an influx of Art Tracks in the system (here’s one if you haven’t seen them yet). These simple videos are a great way to get your full catalog out to viewers and improve your chances for discovery. They expand your presence and give viewers more of your content to listen to. But you can do better.

Though a great addition to YouTube’s massive collection, Art Track videos provide a more passive viewing experience. Because the only visual is a static image, typical viewers press play, then move on to something else as they listen to the video in the background. This is still good because you’ve got them listening. However, it cuts down on engagement and your potential to draw the viewer closer.

A creative, yet simple lyric video could give you that extra hook to keep the viewer around your video longer. These typically incorporate animated text synched with audio to guide the viewer through each song. There are some amazing, intricate lyric videos out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go that far with yours. A clean and punchy lyric video with nothing but colorful moving text could be all you need to get your fans following along. This sets your video aside from other Art Tracks and gives you more of a unique viewing experience for your fans.

Alternatives to the MTV-style Music Video

For better or worse, the days of tuning into awesome, cinematic music videos on MTV have been swallowed whole by reality TV marathons (RIP). These music videos still exist in part on YouTube and VEVO, but they’re being consumed and advertised against differently than in the old days, making the ROI of a huge video production more questionable. This is both good and bad news depending on how you look at it.

To produce and shoot a classic MTV style-music video costs tens of thousands of dollars. When MTV was the only way to watch music videos, this was a painful, but necessary struggle. Though these types of videos are still being made, they are no longer the unshakable standard. Since YouTube broke down the barriers of entry for publishing videos to the world, indie artists and major labels alike have found better ways to create videos for their music.

By embracing a more open community of viewers and creators, many artists have turned to lyric videos as a fast and cost effective alternative to full video production. Because lyric videos don’t necessarily require a live shoot, location, scheduling and casting can be removed from the process. With less of a logistical headache, these videos are often faster to create and publish, which is huge if tight deadlines are imminent.

Though a great animator could still run up your production costs, you at least have options and some room to work with. By keeping your ideas simple, a good animator can get you an excellent lyric video relatively quickly and for much cheaper than a traditional music video shoot. Make no mistake though, lyric videos aren’t just a cheap hack for indie artists on a budget. Huge pop acts like One Direction and Ariana Grande have used lyric videos to premiere top 40 singles, generating millions of views.

If you have the budget to hire a crew and shoot an amazing music video, by all means, do it. These are clearly the heavy hitters of the music video world, but not always the best way. Conversely, not having that budget doesn’t mean you’re limited to just Art Tracks. If you can create something in the middle with a clever, catchy lyric video, you’ve set yourself apart.

Tune In for Music from The Orchard on TV

The MentalistAfter a long day’s work, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch to catch up on your favorite program, especially during this snowpocalypse. But did you know that while you were flipping though channels, you might have caught several Orchard artists? Believe it!

Into badass women? Or crime dramas? How about both? Check out ABC’s Killer Women, Sofia Vergara’s first venture as an executive producer, which stars Tricia Helfer as a lone female Texas Ranger. While watching episode 4, listen for “Outlaw” by Texas Hippie Coalition off of Carved Records. Or tune in to The Mentalist on CBS and keep an ear out for “Lower Manhattan Junction” by Big Swede (Big Swede Studios) in the White Lines episode. If you haven’t watched the show, it stars Simon Baker as a retired psychic who is out to kill the man who murdered his wife and daughter. Pretty heavy stuff.

If you’re not into dramas and you just want to watch people wipe out on national television, then you should tune into Ridiculousness. It’s basically an R rated version of America’s Funniest Home Videos but without Bob Saget. The charming Rob Dyrdek hosts the show’s fourth season on MTV.  Who knows, maybe you will catch “No Parking Here” by Jimmy Littlejohn on Cleopatra Records.

So there you have it folks, finally an excuse to turn on the tube!

The New Music Video: Cheaper and More Social

December 3, 2013 Industry Trends No Comments

mtv_youtubeDo you remember (or have you heard the story of) when MTV launched in the early 80s and propelled the concept of the music video, whose most known example and reference is still the 14-minute clip for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?” It was the beginning of an era which lasted almost 25 years, where a music video had to be a short and entertaining film which only a few artists, generally signed to a major label, could afford.

Almost at the same time, in the mid-80s, two technological revolutions happened that would change music forever. The first one was sampling and the launch of the first affordable samplers which allowed people to take a portion or sample of a sound recording and reuse it on another recording. The second was the emergence of home studios.

These two technologies brought us Hip Hop, Electronic music, Industrial music, Breakbeat… and a few decades of exploding creativity.

Enough history, time to go back to today. Do you see what I’m getting at?

I believe the music video is about to encounter the same kind of revolution that music encountered in the mid-80s.

You no longer need to film with an expensive camera in an exotic part of the world; all the raw material is readily available on the biggest video library we have ever seen: YouTube and its hundreds of thousands of clips you can sample. Not enough? You can use Vine or Instagram or Facebook. Want to be realistic? Just show people the reality they see everyday on social networks or Google Maps… Need to edit something? Add 3D effects? You no longer need an expensive video editing station; a simple laptop should do.

A perfect example of this is Velvet Stairs’ debut video, “Superclusters.” It tells the story of UFO superclusters simultaneously invading cities around the world by using pre-existing footage and clips of social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube.

The best part is that the destiny of this video will depend on the very networks it used in its making. The loop is looped. You’ll notice for example that the video contains footage of supporters celebrating a Parisian soccer team’s victory last year. A team of fans discovered the video, wrote a post on it and shared it with their 18,000 followers!

Another example is Kanye West’s latest video for “Bound 2,” which uses pre-existing National Geographic footage.

In conclusion, as long as you’re complying with all applicable copyright laws, your only limit is your own creativity.

Royce Da 5’9 Reaches New Heights (And A New Audience)

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpgIf you watch MTV’s Washington Heights, you may have heard Royce Da 5’9 in Episode 9 of the new reality teen-drama series now rounding out its first season. Set in the series’ namesake Upper Upper West side slice of Manhattan, the show follows nine youth who each have their own dreams and aspirations after high school, but are bonded together by the neighborhood they call home.

The inclusion of “Count for Nothing” in S1E9 also came with an opportunity to feature it on MTV’s Soundtrack Blog, the network’s new platform created for viewers to connect with the music in the shows they watch. Full tracklistings, links to artist pages, curated spotify playlists, and even free downloads of featured tracks make music discovery an integral part of the user experience surrounding programs even after they have aired.

Hopefully more networks will follow MTV’s lead, providing full immersion into the world of a show and creating something for viewers to continue engaging with long into the future after series end or fads change. Here at The Orchard, we’re proud to be a part of soundtracking that future.

Catch up on Washington Heights, including full episodes, clips, and of course, complete tracklistings for every episode on MTV’s site.

Freeloader Friday: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flock of Dimes, Benjamin Gibbard, Bloc Party, Matthew E. White, Levek, Pretty & Nice and Naytronix

October 5, 2012 Freeloader Friday No Comments

Black Moth Super Rainbow's "Cobra Juicy"Welcome back to Friday, dear Freeloaders! We’ve got a juicy one for you this week… It’s so juicy, it’s “cobra” juicy… You know, so you’ve got enough to take you through Columbus Day this Monday.

(If you’re like some of us over here and this day off is a newsflash, I hope it’s a good one where you just realized you could finally go on that hiking trip you’d planned on forever ago.)

But hiking trip or not, you need good music! In this edition of Freeloader Friday, you’ll get treated to some great streams from upcoming albums by the likes of Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flock of Dimes, Benjamin Gibbard, Pretty & Nice and Naytronix, as well as some fresh music from current albums courtesy of Matthew E. White, Levek and Bloc Party, who just released the video for their new single “Kettling.”

Enough talking… Start playing!

Black Moth Super Rainbow: “Gangs in the Garden” via NPR
Cobra Juicy out October 9 on Rad Cult Records

Flock of Dimes: “(This Is Why) I Don’t Wear White” via Pitchfork
(This Is Why) I Can’t Wear White/15 out November 20 on Frenchkiss Records

Benjamin Gibbard: “Something’s Rattling (Cowpoke)” via YouTube
Former Lives out October 16 on Barsuk Records

Bloc Party: “Kettling” video premiere via YouTube
FOUR out now on Frenchkiss Records

Matthew E. White: “One Of These Days” via Aquarium Drunkard
Big Inner out now on Hometapes/Spacebomb Records

Levek: “French Lessons” via Aquarium Drunkard (also!)
Look A Little Closer out now on Lefse Records

Pretty & Nice: “Capsules” via MTV
Us You All We out November 6 on Lost Colony Music

Naytronix: “In The Summer” via The Guardian
Dirty Glow out October 9 on Plug Research Records

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